Below is a brief explanation of the key wine cooler attributes and features we compared when reviewing the range of EuroCave wine coolers. If there are any questions, we are here to help – just contact us.
The bottle category is a quick way for you to narrow down the EuroCave wine coolers based on the number of bottles that the wine cooler can hold. Rangers are:
- 1 to 9
- 10 to 19
- 20 to 29
- 30 to 39
- 40 to 49
- 50 to 99
- 100 to 149
- 150 to 199
- 200 to 299
- 300 to 399
- 400 to 499
Actual bottle capacity depends on a combination of the shelf configuration chosen and bottle size. Standard bottle size is a Bordeaux bottle. If other bottle sizes are stored, the total bottle capacity may be reduced.
Maximum capacity is shown. To reach maximum capacity, some bottles may need to be stored upright; a different shelving configuration may need to be purchased; and/or some shelves may need to be removed.
Bottles in 1st Temperature Zone and 2nd Temperature Zone
In a single zone wine cooler, the number of bottles will equal the total number of bottles held by the wine cooler. In a dual zone wine cooler, there is often a difference in size between the two zones, which then results in different bottle capacity for each zone. If there are more than two zones, then the difference between the total bottle capacity and the sum of the bottles in zones 1 and 2 will be the bottles in the remaining zone or zones.
Bottle count in each temperature zone may be an estimate based on manufacturers’ display.
A zone is an area where the temperature can be controlled separately from another. The most common is a single zone, followed by a dual zone. However, some EuroCave wine coolers may have even more zones.
Single or Dual Zones
Most wine coolers come with a single zone, which means all of the wine is stored at the same temperature. Typically, for a dual zone unit, there will be a separate coolant mechanism for each zone. However, when a wine cooler has more than two zones, the number of zones may not directly correlate with the number of coolant mechanisms.
A tri-zone wine cooler may have three separate cooling mechanisms or less. If it is less, usually there is a drawer at the bottom that will be extra cold (e.g., for chilling champagne). This occurs because the drawer traps the coldest air sinking from the bottom zone.
Quad-Zone or Higher
Most quad-zone coolers, or those with even more zones, are typically composed of two dual zone units placed side-by-side or within a larger framework. Hence, doubling the number of zones.
Some wine coolers take advantage of the fact that cold air sinks. This property can be used to have several “zones” in one cabinet that are not physically separated from each other. The wine cooler cascades the cold air from the top of the cabinet to the bottom, or from one “zone” to the next. The result is that each lower “zone” in the wine cooler is at a slightly cooler temperature.
Temperature Zone Range
This is the range of temperature for a zone. The actual temperature may be influenced by the outside temperature. In addition, the range may vary slightly because on some wine coolers the original specification is in Farenheit or Celsius and the slight differences are from the conversion to Fahrenheit.
In smaller units, the refrigeration is often done with a thermoelectric unit and not a compressor. Thermoelectric cooling is a solid-state heat pump that transfers heat from one side of a barrier to another by electric energy. Therefore, there are very few moving parts (no vibration) and no circulating liquid (which is also good for the environment).
In larger units, the refrigeration is usually done with a compressor system, which circulates a cooling liquid to remove heat from the wine cooler. Due to the size and bulk of the larger wine coolers, vibration is usually not an issue; however, many manufacturers take other precautions (such as locating the cooling units at the top or bottom, insulation, and wood racks) to minimize any vibrations.
Some will be listed with specific manufacturers’ names of their coolant mechanism. These are usually compressors, but the name given is the marketing name.
Shelves come as metal (e.g., chrome wire), wood, or a combo. For those that are a combo, it is usually a metal shelf with a wood front for display. For metal shelves, they may be coated with vinyl or plastic. Often, the bottom “shelf” is the floor of the cooler and is made of the interior material.
In many wine coolers, shelf type is an option and the ones shown are the standard, but you may choose another.
Doors may be available in a glass or solid front. A very small minority will have a plastic door.
This feature lets you know whether there is a physical handle attached to the wine cooler door. For those without a handle the door may have a designed indent to grab or at least an indent created by the seal.
Some doors are reversible, which means they can be attached to open to the right or left. The buyer may have the ability to change it and/or many can be ordered for the preferred side.
Some wine coolers have more than one door. Those that have at least two doors that open like a cabinet are listed as “French Doors”. A wine cooler, especially a credenza style, may have three or more doors, but if two of them open as “French Doors”, then they will be listed this way.
Some doors have a door lock to protect from unwanted entry.
This gives you an idea of where the wine cooler can be used. Generally, a wine cooler is either designed to be freestanding (to be used anywhere) or built-in (into the lower cabinets in the kitchen). Some can be both. The difference is usually how it is vented. Do not use a freestanding wine cooler as a built-in because it will overheat and ruin the motor.
A wine cooler may be marked as a “countertop” if it is designed as freestanding and under 18″ tall (to fit between the countertop and overhead cabinet bottom). However, the space may vary, so you always need to check this distance first.
Some wine coolers are designed to be wall mounted.
This feature details the color of the wine cooler. The overwhelming color is black, but many are trimmed in front with stainless steel. Some wine coolers can be ordered in various colors and some can be custom ordered.
The dimensions provided by the manufacturer may vary depending on a variety of factors: the depth dimension may or may not include the door handle; the width dimension may or may not factor the needed room for the door to open; and the dimensions given may be the shipping dimensions instead of the cooler dimensions. Also, the dimensions may be rounded, so be extremely cautious if the dimensions would just “barely” fit into a designated place.
Any other important information.
Retailers may slightly change manufacturer names or model numbers. This is a list of common alternative that the model may be found under.